ASUS's Transformer Prime is one of the hottest Android tablets on the market. Despite being a massive success and a must have Android tablet, the Prime has been riddled with GPS issues from day one. Over the last four months, ASUS has tried to resolve numerous customer complaints about GPS performance and has released software update after software update attempting to resolve the issue. The fact of the matter is, these so-called issues cannot be resolved with software tweaks as the Prime has a design flaw.
Today, ASUS announced a true fix for the Transformer Prime's GPS issues. The fix? A hardware accessory in the form of a "dongle", free of charge for Transformer Prime owners. The GPS "dongle" is intended to help improve overall GPS signal reception and performance.
Why an external hardware accessory? The Transformer Prime is pretty sexy and sleek on the outside, being brushed aluminium. However, on the inside, there are radios that are desperately trying to communicate with the outside world. Aluminium does a great job for cosmetics and it also does a great job at hindering radio signal performance, sadly. Many devices combat this by creating something called and "RF window". Simply put, this is a window, usually made of plastic, that allows radio signals to easily pass in and out of the device. Think of the iPad, depending on the version number the RF window is either inside the plastic Apple logo or as in the 3G version in a small, thin, plastic strip on the side. The Transformer Prime has no such design mechanic. (The new Transformer Pad 300, a budget Transformer Prime, has plenty of plastic.)
As you can see from the pictures below, this accessory is far from a dongle. This is a complete eyesore. Sure the colors match and it seems to fit on the Prime nice and snug, but you can't even use the keyboard dock with the "dongle". Some may argue that is the entire reason alone for owning something from the Transformer line, the dock.
ASUS is a great company, committed to their customers, this eyesore may not entirely be their fault. From the start, ASUS stated that the Transformer Prime was not a professional GPS device. Think about it, how can a WiFi only device be used as a navigation device? You'll have to tether your phone to truly use Google Maps Navigation. At that point, why not just use your phone. It's easily mounted in your vehicle or you can toss it on the dashboard. If you want to use your Prime to check-in using various social media services while using WiFi at a coffee shop or hotel, sure the Prime can do that without a "dongle". It may just take a little bit longer than normal.
If you don't care about cosmetics or overall functionality (no dock) and you have to use your WiFi only tablet as a navigation device, ASUS has you covered. Head on over to ASUS's registration page and sign up to get your free GPS extension. This offer expires on July 31st.
Source: Land of Droid